Two former Trump White House staffers will testify at the House select committee’s primetime hearing Thursday that will examine former President Donald Trump’s actions during the more than three hours that the US Capitol was under siege on Jan. 6, 2021.
Former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger and former deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews will headline the hearing, the panel’s eighth since June 9 and the second to be held in primetime, according to reports.
Both Pottinger and Matthews were among a group of Trump administration staffers who resigned immediately after Jan. 6, when a mob of the 45th president’s supporters stormed the Capitol in an attempt to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election results.
They will join a parade of witnesses — including Trump family members, former administration staffers, and Republican state officials — who have testified publicly before the panel or sat for previously recorded depositions.
Matthews, who was deposed by the committee in February, came to the defense of Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, who testified last month about how a frantic Trump ordered Secret Service agents to take him to the Capitol following his Jan. 6 speech on the Ellipse rallying his supporters.
Trump and a number of Republicans had disputed Hutchinson’s testimony.
“Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is,” Matthews posted on Twitter June 28, the day after Hutchinson appeared.
Pottinger, who was also deposed, was working in the White House the day of the attack on the Capitol and is expected to shed light about what Trump was doing during the 187 minutes the riot unfolded.
While Pottinger didn’t see Trump — the former president was in a small dining room off the Oval Office — he did speak to Meadows, the New York Times reported.
The chief of staff was reportedly frustrated that the National Guard had not responded to the Capitol to quell the mayhem caused by the mob.
Rep. Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the committee, will lead the questioning Thursday with Rep. Elaine Lauria (D-Va.) and said over the weekend the panel has received enough information during its investigation to “fill in the blanks” about Trump’s actions on that day.
“This is going to open people’s eyes in a big way,” Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.
“The reality is — I will give you this preview — the president didn’t do very much but gleefully watch television during this time frame,” he added. “We’re going to present a lot more than that.”
With Post wires